The Monster Energy by FHO Racing BMW team have wrapped up a successful qualifying week at the Isle of Man TT Races this afternoon, as the team and its riders Josh Brookes and Peter Hickman prepare for the first race of the event, the six-lap RST Superbike race on Sunday (4 June).


With temperatures high both on and off track and with glorious conditions across the week, lap times have been hotting up as the riders got reacquainted with the 37.73-mile Mountain Course.


Brookes returned to the TT Races after a five-year break and quickly got up to speed with the BMW M 1000 RR machine. On the opening night of practice in the Superstock class the Aussie finished second overall with a best lap speed of 126.404mph. With some changes made to the BMW ‘stocker’ on Tuesday he was third fastest overall, improving his lap speed to 126.282mph.


Brookes is running a Superstock machine in both Superbike and Superstock classes and happy with how the BMW was performing in Superstock, all attention turned to the Superbike class, where on Wednesday’s evening practice he was 12th. Making progress throughout the rest of the sessions Brookes wrapped up the week fifth on the M 1000 RR Superbike, having recorded a 131.098 from a standing start.


Meanwhile teammate Hickman has been in the leading group throughout the week across both the Superbike and Superstock classes. With impressive speeds throughout the week, ‘Hicky’ rounded off the week third on the Superstock machine in yesterday evening’s session and today he was second overall on the Superbike with an impressive 134.910mph lap time.


Through the Sulby Speed Trap he has been the fastest all week clocking a top speed of 202.193mph in this afternoon’s Superbike session.


Faye Ho’s BMW-backed squad will now prepare for their first race of the 2023 TT Races, with six laps of the Mountain Course on Sunday (4 June) for the RST Superbike Race.


Sidecar duo Peter Founds and Jevan Walmsley have also enjoyed a successful week in the sidecar sessions, where they have regularly finished second in the class. Today they topped the times, finishing 13.408s ahead of their nearest rivals Ryan and Callum Crowe. The first sidecar race takes place tomorrow (Saturday 3 June), with the three-lap race scheduled to take place at 14:15.


Peter Hickman:
“At the end of day five the sun was shining again on the Isle of Man which is awesome, practice seems to be getting faster and faster for everybody but overall we’ve had a pretty good day. We’d parked the Superstock bike for today because I’m really quite happy with it so I left that alone and just took the Superbike out. The first lap was pretty steady, we made some changes from yesterday and I needed to feel the bike and understand it a little, but the second lap felt alright to be honest, it’s not perfect the bike if anything is probably a little bit worse than yesterday but I went quite a bit faster so that’s a bonus!
Today I’ve felt a bit more chilled out with the track, it sounds ridiculous but sometimes it just takes some time – particularly me, a lot of other riders can go fast really quickly and get to their ultra fast time straight away, I’ve never been a rider who can do that I always have to build into it lap by lap by lap, and today I felt a little bit more comfortable with where I was, even if the bike wasn’t behaving perfectly I’m happy with what the Superbike was doing corner to corner. Overall I’m pretty happy, I think that’s my second fastest lap ever here, a 134.9 and we were second overall, so I’m pretty happy with it all to be honest, let’s see what happens from now on.”


Josh Brookes: 

“Well thats practice all wrapped up and the next time we’ll be on track will be for the Superbike race on Sunday. For an overview of the week, I finished on a 131 average lap speed, my best ever is a 131.8 and I did that on the last lap of the last race, the last time I was at the TT. So to do that at the end of practice week, I’ve improved a lot since the last time I was here. Practice went very well in a mechanical aspect, often here everyone is having breakdowns and having to try and find their way back to the pits, but fortunately every time I’ve been out I’ve made it back without any issues. The second night of practice spoiled the week a little, it was the negative point for me. We’d made a change to the bike which was the wrong direction and it spooked me as I was running wide, and round here there’s not any where really to go when you run wide, which left me on a bit of a downer.


I recovered from that and I got my confidence back, and I’ve been going quicker each night. We’ve not made any major changes to the BMW, we’ve been making the best of what we’ve got and a lot of the improvements have been coming from me. I know that I have to ride harder in certain areas and improve in myself. If we were chipping and changing the bike each day it might have been counter productive with the bike feeling different, which might have affected my riding. Keeping the bike the same each day I think has been the best method to improve and I’ll improve more as I feel confident. The strange thing is the faster I go the safer I feel out there, as strange as that may sound. As I go quicker I’m understanding the course more and able to control the bike better, it’s a good combination. So that’s a wrap on practice and we’ll see how we get on in the races.”


Faye Ho – Team Principal: 

“The weather has been fantastic all week here on the Isle of Man and I’m really happy with how both Josh and Pete have been going. I’m pleased with Josh considering he’s been away for a few years he’s come back and he’s been getting back up to speed and learning the course again, which has been fantastic to see. He’s enjoying it and the BMW is working well, so he’s very happy.
Pete has been going well on the Superbike, he’s been through the speed trap regularly at over 200mph, which is just incredible. This week we couldn’t have really asked for more with the weather and the improvement all-round, the team are working so well together and putting in so much effort and I really can’t thank them enough. We’re all really looking forward to race week now and I can’t wait to see how we get on.”